A DETERMIND music student from Colonsay has been named as the Lews Castle College UHI Student of the Year. Caitlin McNeill, who has just completed an HNC in music through University of the Highlands and Islands, was praised for her motivation to succeed.
Based at Lews Castle College UHI’s Benbecula campus, Catlin took up as many opportunities as she could during her year-long course. As well as performing at festivals, open microphone nights and on radio and television shows, she helped out at local schools and even enrolled in extra Gaelic classes to supplement her studies.
The 18 year-old now hopes to continue her studies with the university through a BA in applied music.
Speaking about her award, Caitlin said: “I am so happy to have won this award, it’s a real honour and a great way to end an amazing year with the college! I have learned so much and had great fun taking part in the fantastic opportunities we’ve been offered. I’d like to say a huge thank you, not just from me, but on behalf of all the students, to everyone at the college, in particular Anna-Wendy for supporting us and being so knowledgeable and always willing to help! I’m really looking forward to continuing my studies with UHI on the BA applied music degree.”
Anna-Wendy Stevenson, music programme leader and Caitlin’s lecturer, said: “Caitlin is very focused on her desire to become a professional musician. Her motivation is inspirational and essential for the modern musician. She has applied for any placement or work experience available and delivered to a high standard. She actively sought opportunities to apply her learning in the community and assisted fellow students by asking them to join her in performances. She is highly inclusive and energised.”
Lews Castle College UHI principal, Iain Macmillan, said: “I would like to congratulate Caitlin on achieving this award, which is in recognition of her talent, hard work and entrepreneurial and community spirit. A graduate of the future, we are delighted to be welcoming Caitlin onto the new BA applied music degree. We are proud to be working with students of this calibre and I look forward to watching her career progress.”
Caitlin wins £150 as the Lews Castle College UHI student of the year and will go forward as a candidate for the overall University of the Highlands and Islands student of the year award.
You can see Caitlin perform at the Belladrum Tartan Heart music festival on Saturday 4 August where she will be playing as part of traditional five-piece Taghta with other University of the Highlands and Islands music students.
Photo: Please credit the Islands News and Advertiser